Covid-19: Infections on rise in Denmark for first time since February

The reproduction rate of R-number for Covid-19 in Denmark is estimated to be over 1.0 for the first time since February, meaning the virus is currently spreading.

A file photo showing Covid-19 vaccines being prepared
A file photo showing Covid-19 vaccines being prepared for administration. The reproduction rate for Covid-19 is over 1.0 in Denmark for the first time since February. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

The reproduction rate, an estimate of the rate at which the virus is currently spread in the community, was estimated on Tuesday to be 1.1.

A value over 1.0 means the virus is considered to be currently spreading or the epidemic growing, because 10 infected people will pass the virus on to more than 10 others.

Not since February has the value been over 1.0. Last week it was estimated to be 0.8.

“This indicates that the epidemic is beginning to increase mildly,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke wrote on Twitter.

“(The R-number) is backed up by monitoring of sewage water, which shows an increase (in virus levels) in all five regions (of Denmark), especially in Greater Copenhagen,” he added.

Heunicke also wrote on Twitter that “part of the explanation for increasing infections is the introduction of BA. 5 in Denmark,” in reference to the subvariant of the Omicron Covid-19 variant which is expected to become dominant during the summer.

“This subvariant of Omicron comprises a preliminary figure of 32 percent of all confirmed cases in the week commencing June 6th,” he said, adding that the infectious disease control agency State Serum Institute (SSI) was monitoring developments.

Health authorities have so far seen no indications that BA. 5 results in more serious illness than Omicron subvariants prevalent in Denmark last winter.

Heunicke last weekend said that it was “out of the question” for Denmark to reintroduce Covid-19 restrictions this summer.

Health authority figures show that 1,159 new Covid-19 infections were registered during the last daily count. 1,015 of these were in people that have not previously tested positive for the virus.

The cases were found amongst 7,269 PCR tests.

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Covid-19: Danish authorities ’not concerned’ after new subvariant detected

A new subvariant of Covid-19 has been detected in Denmark. Health authorities say they are monitoring the situation.

Covid-19: Danish authorities ’not concerned’ after new subvariant detected

The new variant was first detected in India around three months ago and has now been detected in Denmark for the first time with two confirmed cases, news wire Ritzau reports.

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke confirmed the variant had been found in Denmark in a Twitter post on Saturday.

The variant, BJ.1, is a subvariant of the existing Omicron form of the coronavirus and was first registered in India on July 2nd. It has since been detected in four other countries.

“Two cases of the new Covid-19 subvariant BJ.1 have been found in Denmark,” Heunicke wrote.

“It is completely expected that BJ.1 would appear in Denmark and the State Serum Institute [national infectious disease control agency, ed.] is not currently concerned but is following the situation closely,” he said.

It is currently unclear whether BJ.1, also termed BA.2.10.1, can be expected to cause more serious symptoms than the current dominant form of Omicron.

“BJ.1 has more mutations to the spike protein than subvariants of the dominant BA.5, but the importance of these mutations is not known for certain,” Heunicke wrote.

The most recent infection trends report, issued last week by the State Serum Institute, stated that infection numbers in people aged 60 and over had increased during the preceding week. Infection numbers have been otherwise stable in all age groups in recent weeks.

Denmark currently only recommends a PCR test for Covid-19 for people at risk of serious illness who suspect they have the virus.

Last week’s infection trends report noted that BJ.1 was yet to be detected in Denmark.